Kiss and Sell: The Making of a Supergroup

Overview

Kiss and Sell is a riveting account of the intersecting worlds of music and commerce, as viewed from the perspective of a top executive with Kiss's business management from 1976 to 1988. It's an in-depth look at the convergence of hard rock, big business, and bigger egos, and a revealing story of how images are built and money is made and spent. This is an inside view of the lifestyles and excesses of rock stars, the pressures of staying on top, the influence of the entertainment industry's power brokers, and the...
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Overview

Kiss and Sell is a riveting account of the intersecting worlds of music and commerce, as viewed from the perspective of a top executive with Kiss's business management from 1976 to 1988. It's an in-depth look at the convergence of hard rock, big business, and bigger egos, and a revealing story of how images are built and money is made and spent. This is an inside view of the lifestyles and excesses of rock stars, the pressures of staying on top, the influence of the entertainment industry's power brokers, and the glitz, glamour, and celebrity of stars such as Diana Ross, Lisa Hartman, and Cher. Now reunited and setting concert attendance records throughout the world, Kiss are once again on top. This is the story of their spectacular rise in the '70s, their plummeting popularity in the '80s, and their survival from a series of debacles and downturns to reclaim their title of the "hottest band in the land" in the '90s.
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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Marlyn Roberts
The subtitle of this book should have been "How not to manage a supergroup." The author fell into a position as an "account executive" with Glickman/Marks Management (GMM) in 1976. He was really Kiss's "minder" from their days of success in the late '70s through the ups and downs of the '80s. In 1988, GMM and Lendt were fired by Kiss, and that apparently is the reason this biography is unauthorized. Lendt tells a tale of four men who were making immense amounts of money and spending it even faster. Despite his gleeful recounts of traveling the world with the band, staying in five-star hotels, and carousing, he manages to absolve himself and his employers of much of the blame for Kiss's financial problems. He writes GMM "went wrong by not emphasizing their financial problems more than we had." One presumes that this book is Lendt's attempt to cash in on the recent Kiss revival. But it is not a well-written attempt. The cast of characters is huge and incredibly hard to keep track of (perhaps understandably, considering the temporal and geographic scope of the book). This flaw is not aided by Lendt's meticulous attention to detail-it seems as if every breath taken by the band members during the course of twelve years is documented. It is difficult to determine the audience for this book: perhaps nostalgic fans of the "original" Kiss, perhaps students researching the history of the rock music business. Unless your library's patrons fit into one of the above categories, it is probably safe to give this title a miss. Index. Photos. VOYA Codes: 2Q 2P S (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823075515
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/1997
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2001

    In It For the Money

    After reading Kiss and Sell, one can come to the conclusion that money is the real focus of Gene Simmons and not music. This 'revelation' should come as no shock to fans of the genre. For the low brow of the world, it is like finding out that wrestling is fake. Although no one can deny the staying power and longevity of the super group, the truth is that Simmons is more masterful at separating fans from their hard-earned pay than he is as a bass player or songwriter. The fact that KISS manufactures toilet paper with their logo on it should be a clear indication of how they feel towards their fans. (guess what they wipe theirs with) All fans should hit these guys where they'll feel it by refusing to fuel the KISS cash machine until they learn how to play and write songs. If you feel KISS is a fraud, this book will reinforce your beliefs. After all, this is the same band that arrived one day early for a concert and instead of paying for an extra night at a hotel, ordered the road crew to sleep in the trucks parked on the side of a highway. They, of course, stayed in the Penthouse! A pathetic display of greed considering the profits they made on the last two tours. Also, don't be fooled by the 'farewell tour' last year. These guys will continue to say good-bye until the final dollars have been sucked from the wallets of their loyal fan base. Sad!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 1999

    An Incredible Read

    It was great to finally get a glimpse of the business and marketing side of Rock and Roll during a very indulgent period. As a Kiss fan, I enjoyed the book alot. As a musician, I enjoyed the book for not solely concentrating on the gossip/tabloid story lines most rock books present. A very FUN read!

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